Global Animal Charity SPANA Celebrates Centenary

100 years of saving and supporting working animals around the world

Monday 2 October 2023, UK: Global animal welfare charity – the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA) – is celebrating its hundred-year anniversary today. 

SPANA has helped generations of working animals over the past century. These animals are critical to everyday life in many of the world’s most vulnerable communities, through activities including ploughing fields and transporting people, food, water, goods and firewood.

In the last 15 years alone, the charity has provided more than five million veterinary treatments to working animals, helping both them and the communities they so loyally serve.

The charity’s vital work started back in 1923 when mother and daughter – Kate and Nina Hosali – travelled across North Africa on a journey that would change their lives, and the lives of countless animals.

Upon seeing the suffering and neglect of many of the working animals they encountered, such as donkeys, horses and camels, on 2nd October 1923 they founded SPANA – the first charity dedicated to supporting working animals in low-income countries.

Now, 100 years on, the charity works globally, supporting working animal welfare in vulnerable communities across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, and is celebrating a century of providing care and support to animals.

Last year, more than 300,000 working animals were treated by SPANA, with almost 90,000 owners trained in how to look after their animals. Furthermore, more than 87,000 children – the next generation of animal owners and community leaders – were also taught about animal welfare, to help bring about lasting change.

Major global challenges such as climate change, and rising poverty and inequality, are putting the survival of working animals at severe risk and are threatening the livelihoods and future of families in vulnerable communities across the world. The need is considerable and the charity is working to improve the lives of working animals and the people who depend on them in the face of these extreme challenges. 

In addition to its global programme of work, the charity is currently providing lifesaving emergency care and support to working animals in desperate need in communities affected by the deadly earthquake in Morocco. 


Interview Opportunities available:

WHO:  Linda Edwards, CEO, SPANA

Dr Linda Evans, Director, Global Animal Welfare, SPANA

Professor Hassan Alyakine, Country Director for Morocco, SPANA

WHERE: Central London (for in-person/in-studio interviews, or remote via ISDN, Facetime, Zoom, etc.)


Linda Edwards, CEO, SPANA

As SPANA’s Chief Executive, Linda leads our vital work to transform the lives of working animals who support the world’s poorest communities. A distinguished leader who has successfully worked across the animal welfare, international development, humanitarian and commercial sectors, Linda has previously worked as Chief Executive of the charities United Purpose and Build Africa. She has also served as Executive Director of Operations at The Donkey Sanctuary.

Linda has lived and worked overseas extensively, from Africa, Asia and Australasia to Central and South America, Europe and the Middle East. After serving as Marie Stopes International’s Country Director in Malawi, she moved to Australia to cover the organisation’s work across the Pacific Asia region. Linda has also led international programmes as Country Director for Merlin and the Danish Refugee Council, based in Sudan, DR Congo and Iraq. As a keen animal lover, Linda is deeply committed to SPANA’s work and values.

Dr Linda Evans, Director, Global Animal Welfare, SPANA

Linda is a qualified vet who worked in mixed practice for 18 years before spending two decades in a variety of local and national UK government roles. Her experience encompasses the development, legislation, enforcement and implementation of national policy. Linda joined SPANA from The Donkey Sanctuary, where she established the Veterinary Policy Advisory Services Team, which maintains an overview of biosecurity, zoonosis and global risks to disease spread. She has also previously chaired the technical group for the International Coalition for Working Equids (ICWE).

Professor Hassan Alyakine, Country Director for Morocco, SPANA (on request)


For all media enquiries and interview requests, please contact the team at Sassy:

Andriana Toneva


Tel: +44 (0) 7761 255 487

Caitlin Warner


Tel: +44 (0) 7480 141 314


You may also like